Did you know that car crashes are the number one cause of death for teens in this nation? Sadly, most of these teen car crashes are needless and could have been prevented if drivers weren’t texting or distracted at the wheel in other ways. While distracted driving is a nationwide problem affecting all age groups, teens are the most vulnerable since they are new drivers.
In 2013, ten percent of drivers between the ages of 15-19 were reported distracted at the time of a fatal crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Obviously, this statistics doesn’t account for all of the hundreds of thousands of injuries that also occur as a result of distracted teen drivers.
The reality is, teen drivers make up the largest age group of drivers who are distracted behind the wheel. Since this week November 16-22, 2015 is National Teens “Don’t Text and Drive Week,” it is a great time to remind teenage drivers of the dangers of texting and driving.
Texting While Driving Leads to Car Crashes
The message from NHTSA says it perfectly, “Stop the Texts. Stop the Wrecks.” So how can you stop texting and driving or get your teen driver to stop texting at the wheel?
Review the Facts:
- Texting causes a driver to take one’s eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off of driving, which means that texting requires visual, manual and cognitive attention – making it the most distracting activity a driver can participate in.
- The risk of crashing or near-crashing among inexperienced teen drivers increased as a result of performing secondary tasks like texting and dialing a cell phone, according to an article in the New England Journal of Medicine.
- When a driver sends or receives a text and looks at their cell phone for an average of 4.6 seconds, it is like driving blind at 55 miles per hour for the length of a football field, according to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
Hopefully these powerful facts have been persuasive; however, it is best to educate yourself. You can find more information about the dangers of texting and driving by visiting www.distraction.gov. In addition to educating yourself about this tragic problem, you and your teen driver can take the pledge.
Since there are over 3,000 teen fatalities that occur on nationwide roadways every year due to texting while driving, wireless carriers have come together to spread the word about the “It Can Wait” campaign. This message encourages teen drivers as well as all drivers to take a pledge, which states: “No text message, email, website or video is worth the risk of endangering my life or the lives of others on the road. I pledge to never text and drive and will take action to educate others about the dangers of texting while driving. No text is worth the risk. It can wait.”
On that note, parents of teens should not only take the pledge with their teen driver, but they should lead by example and set rules for their teen driver. While it may seem like common sense to turn off a cell phone until one arrives at the destination, you cannot assume that a teen driver will obey this rule every time he or she is behind the wheel. This is why many parents and teen drivers use apps to help control the texting while driving temptation.
Hopefully, you or your child won’t ever suffer injuries in a car crash in South Florida. However, if you do as a result of a distracted driver, please remember you have rights and should hold the negligent driver accountable. For a free consultation to find out about your legal rights, contact the Law Offices of David Benenfeld at 866-9 HELP NOW or 866-943-5766 today.